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Can CSK continue its good run in the second-leg of IPL?

Monday, May 3, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi

Can CSK continue its good run in the second-leg of IPL?

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) are to cross swords for the second time during the ongoing IPL-14 as both the teams are to commence their second-leg of the tourney. All the eight participating teams have to clash with each other twice which means they would have to play 14 matches before the play-offs stage is decided.

DC goes past CSK to the top of points table

Thanks to its facile win over PBKS yesterday, DC is now the table-topper of the points tally, though it has played 8 matches as compared to CSK. What stands out in favour of CSK is that it is the only team which enjoys a superlative net run rate (NRR) of +1.26, which might stand it in good stead in the coming days when the battle for top-4 in the points tally gets hotter.

Butler effect

Jos Butler, RR’s opener, showed his full array of strokes in an enterprising 124 against a clueless SRH bowling attack. Though Butler’s talent was never in doubt, it was the first time he showed it in the form of an IPL century with a flurry of strokes which took the match away from SRH. CSK would have to be wary of Butler and would think about ways of getting Butler early whether RR chases or bats first.

Bowling options galore for RR

Inclusion of young Kartik Tyagi, who bowls a good pace and regularly clocks 140+ kmph, has strengthened RR’s bowling which already has two effective south-paws: the nippy and young Sakariya and the young Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur. Tyagi had been the net-bowler for Team India for the past year or so. With all-rounders Chris Morris and Rahul Tewatia doing their bit, RR’s bowling has a settled look for sure.

CSK's 'death-over' goof-ups

Bowling in the ‘death’ (18-20 over period) has always been a crisis-ridden thing for CSK, which has the habit of leaking runs. This was the reason why it lost to MI despite scoring 218. Ngidi has leaked tons of runs; so did Shardul, thus making things difficult for MS Dhoni and the team. Chahar and Curran were reasonably economical but Lungi and Thakur leaked a whopping 118 runs in their 8 overs, which obviously depleted CSK’s chances of a handsome win.

CSK's batting has been its biggest strength in this tournament this far and it may not make any changes to the batters’ list; for the match against RR, it may consider including Dwayne Bravo and Jason Behrendorff in place of Ngidi and Shardul Thakur. Jason’s pace might just do the trick that CSK needs to put the brakes on RR’s batting. RR is most likely to stick to the winning combination.

Expected XI:

CSK: Ruturaj, du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MSD, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo/Shadrul Thakur, Ngidi/Behrendorff and Deepak Chahar

RR: Butler, Jaiswal, Samson, Miller, Riyan Parag, Anuj Rawat, Rahul Tewatia, Sakariya, Mustafizur, Kartik Tyagi and Chris Morris

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